hhgregg’s Guide to the World Cup

19 Jun, 2014

soccer stadium
It’s what everyone is talking about across the globe this month – it’s the 2014 World Cup! Fútbol fans – and those just curious to see how their country’s team does in the tournament – will flock to pubs, living rooms and soccer stadiums to watch this highly-anticipated event that only happens once every four years. But what if you aren’t a diehard soccer aficionado? Follow our guide to the World Cup to learn the basics before watching.

What are the rules?

Think of the World Cup as two stages: the first “group” stage and the second stage. Here is what you need to know about each stage:

  • Group Stage: Thirty-two teams are split into eight groups of four (Groups A-H). They will play every team in their group once. Teams earn three points for a victory and one point for a draw, and the top two teams from each group will then advance to the second stage. If two teams are tied, group stage winners will be determined by calculating the goal differential from their three games. For example, if a team won by three goals in one game, lost by two goals in another, and won by five in their third game, their goal differential would be six (3 – 2 + 5 = 6).
  • Second Stage: In the next round, also known as the “knockout stage,” the winner from Group A will play the second place team in Group B, the winner from Group C will play the second place team in D, and so on. The knockout stage follows a single-elimination format and starts with 16 teams, gets narrowed to eight teams in the quarter-final round, then goes to four teams in the semi-final, and then two teams in the final round. Check out FIFA’s guide to get a better understanding of how the second stage bracket works.

How do I stay up to date on scores and stats?

There are plenty of ways to keep on top of the tournament’s scores and game details, but we’ve compiled some of the quickest ways to stay up to date.

  • FIFA Official app The official app of the World Cup provides scores, match alerts, access to the live blog with real-time coverage, photos and videos, and more!
  • OneFootball Brasil app This app makes it easy to follow your favorite teams. Select your top teams and get real-time updates, including live commentary from the matches.
  • FIFA World Cup Facebook page Like this Facebook page to receive helpful tournament updates including photos, player stats and team stats.
  • Twitter Search #WorldCup or #WorldCup2014 hashtags or follow your favorite players on Twitter to see what everyone else is saying about the games. Or, tweet your own thoughts and use the “#” symbol in front of your team’s country code (example: #USA) – it will automatically create a flag icon, or a “hash flag.”

What’s the best way to watch the games?

It’s up to you! Maybe you’d prefer to host a World Cup watch party in the comfort of your living room – complete with a flat-screen 4K TV and surround sound so you never miss a goal. Or, perhaps you’d rather congregate with local fans at a nearby pub or restaurant to soak in the atmosphere and cheer on your favorite teams. Either way, after reading our guide, you should have a little more insight into the details behind the World Cup.

Are you watching the games? Who are you cheering for?

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